Chris Archer

Ranking the Red Sox's biggest villains from the past decade

Ranking the Red Sox's biggest villains from the past decade

Editor's Note: As the calendar turns to 2020, NBC Sports Boston will be taking a look back at the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene over the past decade. 

Over the past 10 years, the Red Sox have won a pair of World Series and four division titles, but they've also finished in last place three times, including a worst-to-first-to-worst rollercoaster from 2012 to 2014.

Boston sports fans have become accustomed to winning, but nothing captures the imagination like a good villain. Sometimes it's hard to tell whom Red Sox fans are harder on — opponents or their own players (and managers).

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In that spirit, here are 10 villains from the past decade, including four former Red Sox, because nobody eats their own like we do.

Click here for the gallery.

Friday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Sandoval back at third, Porcello on mound

Friday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Sandoval back at third, Porcello on mound

Pablo Sandoval is back in the Red Sox lineup at third base as they open a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight at Fenway Park.

Sandoval sat Thursday, “for a breather,” as John Farrell put it, after his 4-for-30 (.133) start, with two of those hits homers. He’s back in there, as is right-handed Chris Young in left field, against Rays right-hander Chris Archer, who’s 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 2017 but is 1-11 lifetime against the Red Sox.

Rick Porcello (1-0, 4.38 in two starts) pitches for Boston with Sandy Leon behind the plate.

The full lineups: 

Dustin Pedroia 2B
Andrew Benintendi CF
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Chris Young LF
Sandy Leon C

Rick Porcello RHP

Corey Dickerson LF
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller 2B
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Logan Morrison 1B
Derek Norris C
Shane Peterson DH
Tim Beckham SS

Chris Archer RHP

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.